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Balsam Hill Christmas Trees / Customer service direction leaves product unusable!

50 Woodside Plaza, Suite 111Redwood City, CA, United States Review updated:
1.6
Contact information:

On July 20, 2007, I contacted Balsam Hil Christmas Tree Company via the internet to purchase a Norway Spruce, 9-ft full 79", with Color+Clear lights. The purchase price was promptly billed to my credit card. It was delivered on time as indicated by the shipper with no visible damage evident due to shipping. Because it was seasonal merchandise, the boxes were opened to verify receipt of the correct product and then stored without further action.

On November 1, I opened the tree boxes again and began checkout of the tree for its functionality and ability of the lights to operate as required. When Section D of the tree was checked to verify the lights would operate, several pieces of plastic and glass fell out of the tree when the wrapping was removed from that section of the tree and a section of clear and multi-colored lights did not come on when electricity was applied. Balsam Hill warrants this tree to be free from defects for a period of 10-years and the lights to be free from defects for a period of five years.

I immediately contacted Balsam Hill Customer Service by telephone and spoke with a female Customer Service Representative. She asked for every detail of the problem with Section D to be described to her, which I did. I then asked if it would be my responsibility to rewire the tree and, if so, would they provide instructions? The lady at Balsam Hill was very quick to respond that I would not not have to rewire the tree; instead, I was to throw that section of the tree away, or destroy it, and Balsam Hill would send me a replacement Section D. I thanked her for her help and she indicated that I should receive the replacement Section D within three business days. What I received was two strings of lights which arrived three business days later, in accordance with their warranty.

I did not discover Balsam Hill had shipped the lights instead of a replacement Section D until Monday, November 5, 2007, when I checked my E-mail account at work. At that point, I immediately responded in writing to Balsam Hill Customer Service objecting to the lights instead of the replacement Section D as promised by Customer Service. I also verified that my local trash service had already run that day and I wouldn't be able to retrieve anything placed in the trash as I had been instructed by Customer Service on November 1.

On November 6, Balsam Hill sent me an E-mail signed by "Jean" with a Customer Service E-mail address. Jean apologized for the problem and said, "We are currently working on the best way to handle this situation for you. We will get back to you within a day or so with the final decision on how best to handle this for you." When no update had occurred by Balsam Hill by November 8, I again E-mailed them with my concern due to the lack of their response and added that they were now impacting my ability to get this tree decorated on our schedule.

On November 12, I again checked the status on the Customer Service ticket they had opened on this problem, only to discover that the status had changed from "Open" to "On-Hold". I again sent them an E-mail as another addendum to the same Customer Service ticket, stating they had now prevented me from being able to decorate this tree in time for the beginning of the holidays.

As of this date, the Customer Service ticket on this complaint remains "On Hold". The obvious settlement is for Balsam Hill Christmas Tree Company to honor the commitment made by Customer Service on November 1 to replace Section D of the tree. If that is not forthcoming, then I should be refunded the entire purchase price of the tree because a tree with one section missing is of no use. Instead, they have chosen to ignore the direction provided by their Customer Service Representative which was over and above their written warranty.

BECAUSE BALSAM HILL DOES NOT HONOR THEIR COMMITMENTS MADE BY THEIR CUSTOMER SERVICE REPRESENTATIVE, I WAS LEFT WITH AN EXPENSIVE TREE THAT IS UNUSABLE.
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Ke
  23rd of Apr, 2008
Agree Disagree +1 Votes
Robert, I have had the same problem with this company. I ordered a multi-color prelighted Douglas Fir Tree from Balsam in November 2006. Tree has a 5 year light warranty and a 10 year warranty on the tree. The tree worked fine during December 2006 Christmas. Then on October 2007 when I tried to put the tree up again Section D (the same section you complained about) did not light up. I immediately contacted the Balsmam Hill's customer service rep and was told they would send out a replacement section. I explained I could not put up my tree on time before Christmas without that replacement section. They assured me they would send out a replacement section. I waited about a month. The section did not come. I called back and spoke to someone and they told me they sent out the wrong section and I would be receiving Section D within two weeks. Two weeks passed and I did not get a replacement D section. So I called back. I was then it was the company's policy not to send out replacement sections during the holdiday season and they would send out Section D after Christmas. Talk about screwed up. What good would that do me? They told me they would send out me a strand of lights to get by for Christmas. I am still waiting for them to send the replacement D section. Guess what? They still have not sent it out! I called my credit card and tried to get them to help. They were scammed by Balsam because they told my credit card company they would send out a replacment section. They have not! So, I got stuck with the charge on my card and my credit card company cannot help me.

This company does not honor its warranty as advertised on its web cite. They tried to tell me to click on returns and tried to say it says in their they can send out replacement bulbs or strands of lights. I checked it out and their is nothing in their on their web cite that says that. Check it out yourself:

http://www.balsamhill.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=dou%2DT&CartID=

This company is not worth a damn! I advise all to stay away from them. They are liars! Anyone having a problem should contact the Better Business Bureau in your state, file an FTC complaint against them, and a FCC complaint for fraudulent on line advertising. This is what I am doing! Anyone wanted to discuss Balsam call me at 843-333-2513. I am now stuck with a $799 Christmas Tree with a supposedly 10 year warranty and a 5 year light warranty. What good is the tree when Section D does not work?
La
  9th of Oct, 2008
Agree Disagree +2 Votes
My buddy told me about this company as well. His cousin had a horrible experience with their product and the service. We found another company called Tree Classics who's been around for 30 years now at www.treeclassics.com. I've had their Cascade Fir tree for 3 years, no issues whatsoever and I actually called them up recently for a storage bag. Nice people! Imagine that! Just goes to show you that researching a company's history is an important thing to do before buying online.
Pn
  11th of Dec, 2009
Agree Disagree +2 Votes
I so wish I would have researched this company before our purchase. We spent more than $400 on a 7 and 1/2 foot Denali white christmas tree.

After this blog update our next action is to contact BBB, FTC and State Attorney General's office responsible for Consumer Complaints.

Our tree had no issues the first year we placed our order in December 2008. However, in putting the tree up this December 2009 over 100 lights were not working. My first call to customer care was on Saturday, Nov 28, 2009 where we explained that our lights were not working properly and went through in detail the troubleshooting steps we took to no avail. At this time, we asked for 100 replacment lights to be shipped asap. Customer care stated that we had to first speak to a lighting technician before any lights could be shipped and that we would receive a call within the next 24 hours. I gave both my home number and mobile number so we would not miss their call and they never phoned. The call comes in on Monday beyond the 24 hour commitment while my husband is at work. Since he performed the troubleshooting I wanted him to speak directly to the technician. My husband finally connects with the lighting technician on Dec 4th, and he validated all the necessary troubleshooting was performed and that Balsam Hill needed to ship lights. He requested 100 lights again.

NOTE: At first the technician only wanted to give us 50 lights irrespective of how many were blown and not working on the tree and we had to INSIST that we receive the full 100 or we would be returning the tree.

Today is December 11th and we still have not received our lights. We placed a call to customer care and learned that lights were shipped on December 10th via regular mail. My husband and I were incensed by this statement and told them the lights needed to be received within 24 hours or we were returning the tree.

The only response was that they fulfilled their obligations per the Warranty and that there would be no refund issued if the tree was returned.

STAY AWAY FROM THIS COMPANY. HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE CUSTOMER SERVICE.

Signed,

Dissapointed and Dismayed in the PNW
No
  26th of Dec, 2009
Agree Disagree +1 Votes
Thanks for the comments, was going to order a tree, as they have a good sale on right now, but after reading this comments from 15 days ago - No way in hell!!
Ch
  30th of Mar, 2010
Agree Disagree +2 Votes
This is the worst possible company you could ever consider doing business with regarding purchasing a Christmas tree. We are a very dissatisfied customer being added to the long list that seems to be growing with this company. There are numerous negative reviews, poor feedback and complaints about Balsam Hill and www.balsamhill.com

After spending almost $2000 on a Christmas tree at the www.balsamhill.com web site, it was put up for Christmas of 2009, just after New Years Day a complete set of several hundred bulbs went out. We called their customer support department and they suggested checking the fuses. We did that and found they had blown. Immediately upon replacing them they blew again. A third attempt, they blew again. It was obvious now that there was some kind of electrical defect in the light string.

We called Balsam Hill again and they said a member of customer services would call back. They never did. So we called them again and were then told they couldn’t do anything about it until February. We called again in February and were told somebody would call us back. They never did so we called our credit card company to file a chargeback. Balsam Hill responded to that by saying we should call them again. We did, only to be told that they may issue an RMA but it will take up to 3 weeks for somebody to get back to us to do that and only if they think it will be necessary.

It has now been over 3 weeks and we have heard nothing at all from Balsam Hill. Having called them today, only to get the run-around yet again. This time told that there is nobody available in customer services to answer and somebody would call back. Sure, we have heard that one before! It’s not going to happen. I asked if the person had ever seen all the negative reviews on the internet about Balsam Hill and of course she said she has never looked and when questioned, why not? She said she was a temporary worker. This company seems to have an answer for everything.

I would never recommend this company to anyone. They have zero customer service and just do not care. Their products and their company appear to be nothing other than a rip-off!
Ch
  30th of Mar, 2010
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
Their sale prices are all fake anyway. They contantly put the prices up and down and create fake high prices to make it look like its a great deal, or its only on sale until... blah, blah, blah! All false marketing. Buy a tree from these people and if it works and lasts a long time you are one lucky person. Otherwise joing the rest of us who can't get anywhere with this company. Hopefully they will be out of business real soon!!!
Ma
  13th of Oct, 2010
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
have had the same trouble as other reviewers. My wife and I spent $700 on a nice tree to be enjoyed supposedly for Years to come.

When the tree arrived we set it up. It had a significant lean to the side that I could not fix. I took the tree apart and put it back together again at least 4 times and still the lean was there.

We also noticed a smashed electrical plug that looked unsafe.

We called Balsam Hill NUMEROUS times. Each time I held the line for around 35 to 45 minutes just to speak with someone. When someone finally answered they told me I would have to wait for warranty help to call me back. They never did. We did a credit card back dispute, BBB complaint, and our situation still remains unsolved.

Please don't make the same mistake as we did and find another supplier for your tree. You do not want to deal with these people, they are ripoff artists.
Tw
  30th of Nov, 2010
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
Well the commercial is showing in Detroit and that tree looks so good...I came to my pc, googled the company and came to this site first, as I generally look to see if there have been any complaints on a product I"m not familiar with. I'd like to thank all of you for saving me some heartbreak.
Ka
  5th of Dec, 2010
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
Wish I'd Googled this company before placing the order. I am stuck with a $600 tree that leans to one side, has only some working lights (about 60%) and was a real pain to put together. It's no wonder they don't have customer reviews posted on their website. Have been on hold with customer service for 25 minutes now and will soon hang up!! Don't know what I was thinking of, may that when you spend a large chunk of change you expect minimally decent and honest customer service. This business is sleazy, STAY AWAY FROM BALSAM HILL!!
Un
  29th of May, 2011
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I purchased one after Christmas, 2010. I received the tree on Dec. 29, 2010. I immediately set it up, plugged it in and it worked for a total of about 2 seconds, the section A went out. I checked and replaced fuses, checked the lights, etc. When I called them, they told me the warranty department was out of vacation until the end of January. The end of January came and went. I called again. I got the same song and dance. So, I filed a BBB complaint. Finally, they called me to arrange the pick-up of section A. That was right before Valentine's Day, 2011. I did not hear anymore until last week, I sent them an e-mail. To which they replied that the warranty department would be contacting me when they determined what was wrong with the section. Since then, I have e-mailed each day. I am thinking a class action lawsuit would be the best thing to do. Even if I never got my money back, which I don't think I will, I would a least help shut them down. I even e-mailed Oprah as they use her name as an endoresement. No response there. So, guess that's how much the average joe counts for her!!!
Bh
  16th of Nov, 2011
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
This place is horrible. We ordered a tree on October of 2010 and the tree of course worked fine for that season. Upon putting our tree up this year we have 2 sections of lights out and on one of the sections have a melted bulb/socket. The company will not do anything about this, so who will take responsibility when my house catches on fire from their faulty tree ?
Tm
  8th of Dec, 2012
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I ordered replacement bulbs for my 2 trees and 2 wreaths on November 18th. Today is December 9 - still no bulbs. I have made numerous calls and sent emails - to no avail. The customer service by this company is deplorable. They told me it takes 14 business days to get items shipped via the postal service. Please . . . Their suggestion to my 50+ burnt out bulbs - put my own string of lights on my "pre-lit" tree. Do you use this company - you will regret it!
Es
  13th of Dec, 2012
Agree Disagree +1 Votes
I am so sorry to hear all your tales of loss and woe. past and present. I only wish I had a lighting problem!! please don't misunderstand me I believe ALL of these reviews are accurate and absoutely worthy of resolution. If I had problems with the lights on my Balsam Hill tree, at this point after this uphill battle I would look to myself to remedy the situation (though we shouldn't be expected to) I would be making the most of it and right now i would be at target buying lights to string on my tree. However, I am not so fortunate. My tree is BROWN. Imagine my dismay, when I opened that green Balsam Hill bag anticipating my beautiful WHITE christmas tree to be decorated that evening, only to find it was brown in several various sections and on all sides. I had stored my tree per Balsam Hills instructions cool, dry, dark. So this is not sun or heat damage, Balsam Hill themselves acknowledged that it IS a Warranty isssue and was most likely caused by the fire ###ent they spray on the trees. I am not so upset about the tree going awry, hey things happen right? I am absolutely flabbergasted, dismayed, horrified that Balsam Hill REFUSES TO HONOR THEIR WARRANTY. It is a joke. PLEASE I beg of you DO NOT PURCHASE A TREE FROM THIS COMPANY. Imagine how many more others of us there are out there that have not taken the time to voice out their concerns. Balsam Hill"s reviews published on their site are edited of course by them, they throw in a few poor reviews so the potential consumer believes they are a trustworthy, honest company.
Di
  7th of Dec, 2013
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
We bought a 7' Silverado Slim. We experienced many problems and still are. First - tree is very skimpy compared to the one in the picture. Second, it smells horrible - our entire den stinks. It smells like it as been in storage for a long time - really musty. 3rd - a section of lighting is out and we cannot get it to work. Customer Service is no help - it's like their strategy is to put you off and frustrate you so long that you finally just give up trying to get restitution. Do not buy from Balsam HIlls. Reg price $599/I bought after Christmas 2012 for $249. Wasted my Hard-earned $$$.
Im
  11th of Dec, 2014
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
We ordered a 9' tree, it's beautiful. It looked great the first year. However the next year we had a burnt(these are the LED lights and aren't supposed to burn out as fast) out section(1of5). I called and talked to customer service, they were very helpful and sent us a replacement. The replacement didn't arrive until just before Christmas, so we just put the new section in storage with the tree after Christmas.
This year we take the tree out of storage and connect the brand new section has the WRONG lights. I continue to check the rest of the sections and I find another section burnt out as well.
I called Customer Service and was asked to take pictures and send them via email. I did, the pictures were very clear and concise as to what the problem was.
I called customer service and confirmed the next day that they did in fact have the pictures and that they were working on it. The response was wait 72 hours(3 work days).
A week later I hadn't heard from anyone from Balsam Hill. I called and was told that they were going to elevate it and they would get back to me.
I called the next day and talked to another agent(after explaining everything again) and he said he would look into it and get back to me later. Much to my surprise he called back and said that they don't have either of the parts in stock and that they would have to make the sections, but that wouldn't happen until this summer some time.
I asked for a replacement tree as this was our second year with a faulty tree, Paying for this much for a tree I expect it to work, especially at Christmas. I was told no.
I called the next day and asked to talk to the supervisor, I got the same response, no parts until the summer. I asked again for a new tree, even offered to send the faulty one back, but no.
This is the second year I have had to but lights to decorate my pre-lit tree, never mind that it has one section of lights that don't match the rest of the tree.
For the price of the tree I would expect a little better customer service, especially during the holiday season, that is what these trees are used for. To not have the parts during your peak season is inexcusable. They surely have the trees for new customers, why not take the two sections out of ones that work and let my family have a complete tree for Christmas.
Al
  26th of Dec, 2014
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
Hi imratz, we apologize for the inconvenience you have had to go through with your lights and replacement part. Since we strive to provide better products, our items are handmade and the time needed to manufacture replacement parts may vary during the year. Kindly send us an email to social@balsamhill.com so we can bring this up to our Warranty team on your behalf and look into further possible options for your tree.

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Balsam Hill Logo Balsam Hill
Customer Service
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31 Reviews
1561 Adrian Road
Burlingame
CA
United States - 94010
+1 888 552 2572
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